The Assembly Appropriations Committee has advanced amended legislation that aims to reduce plastic pollution by requiring an increased use of recycled plastics in manufacturers’ products.  

The committee voted 7-4 to release the legislation (S-2515/A-4676), which affects a wide variety of packaging products including plastic containers, plastic bags and plastic trash bags, as well as glass containers and paper bags. Amendments reduced the amount of post-consumer recycled content in rigid plastic containers but increased the amount from 5% to 10% five years after the bill takes effect. 

NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor said the amendments were an improvement, but that the bill was still flawed because the percentages of recycling content mandated by the bill are not technically feasible. “The markets are just not there yet,” Cantor told the committee. 

Cantor also said he was concerned that the Department of Environmental Protection would be inundated with thousands of requests for waivers, which DEP would have a difficult time processing in a timely manner. 

Read NJ Spotlight News reporter Tom Johnson’s story on the hearing here.